Power/Speed Settings

I have often wondered about the relationship between the power and speed settings. I understand that a slower speed at the same power setting should cause a deeper engrave but my question is this. Assume (and these numbers are for illustration purposes only) That if a speed of 1000 and power setting of 50 was roughly the same as far as the engrave goes as a speed of 500 and a power setting of 25, why would anyone ever use the slower speed? Am I missing something?

No one would. :wink:


I guess it’s just finding the relationship you want between power and speed. :slight_smile:

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Yep. And to confuse the issue more, if you’re doing an intricate design the speed is actually going to be slower than what’s set, since the head can’t get up to full speed if it’s constantly turning, so you might find you need to drop the power a little to compensate.


Makes sense. Thanks! I love your work by the way.


Thank you! :slight_smile:

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There are good sometimes good reasons for choosing the slower speed and lower power.

In engraving, you often get a darker result with slower speeds.

With cuts, some materials like to be cut more slowly at lower power (thin stuff), and slower speeds lead to less acceleration effects with paths (granted, clean corners has made this better, but its not perfect and the maxim holds true).

Also high speed cuts are much more likely to have missed steps in the motors, I will sometimes slow a cut/score down if precision is a primary concern.

So, short version: It’ll basically come down to your design, your requirements, and how the material takes laser. It can get complicated. There’s no substitute for good testing.


I am in exactly that quandary at the moment and was waiting till my photo could get transferred before posting. The wood is 1/32 Baltic Birch with lots of intricate design so the speed is never achieved but the power is automatically adjusted to match the speed it does achieve. At full speed as the rectangle cutting it out the called out speed that experiment showed would work had to be cut to 3/4 that speed and still much of it hangs so I will have to go slower a bit yet. Interestingly the cutting time has hardly changed as the real speed is not even near that lower point, but the cut in power is less.

Ahh, but the case postulated was when the two combinations had roughly the same outcome. In that case, no one would choose the slower speed. If the outcomes were different, then my answer would also have been! :slight_smile:

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Another aspect to this is that neither power nor speed appear to be linear.

I’ve done a fair bit of testing to try to create predictable curves and slopes to the edges of materials, and varying speed and power does not give smooth or uniform results. Using variable power for engrave, “one might think” a 0-100 gradient would give a uniform slope or curve (in uniform density material - mostly acrylic), but it does not, it is noticeably stepped. I am beginning to wonder if the power output simply has a very low resolution. The same applies to speed - you can specify hundreds of values, but when it goes thru the cloud processing, it appears that the actual speed is not that granular.

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I have found exactly this.
Without an actual power/speed/item chart, it is hard to find the right thing.

Why is there not a comprehensive chart of ‘settings’ for all kinds of ‘things’?
All it needs to be is a starting point guys!!!

There is, somewhere. It takes longer to find the link and search for your material in it than it takes to run a test strip, and with a test strip you get the exact results for your exact piece of material and your exact machine calibration. :wink:


I’m doing it because it interests me, and if I get meaningful results I’ll share them, but that doesn’t mean anyone else would be able to use them.

The two things I’d like to be able to do is reliably engrave a mortise most of the way thru material, and create bevelled edges so that adjacent parts connected at an angle can be close fitting with minimal edge visible. Together they would allow me to assemble 3d geometric shapes with no edges or visible connectors.

Again, just for fun because the challenge interests me.


Is there one particular test strip someone has already uploaded for the group that you would recommend?


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